Jan 052022

(Andy Synn continues his desperate attempt to cover everything he missed last year)

One thing I’ve been trying to get across with these “Unsung Heroes” posts is just how varied and versatile “the scene” is.

Case in point, today we’ve got a triptych of grungy, melodic grooves (Blind Tendril), blast-driven brutality (Carthage), and angst-ridden artistry (Dreamwell), which should provide something for a wide variety of tastes… and maybe even tempt some of you to experiment with something you wouldn’t usually listen to.

Who knows? All I can do is put the music in front of you. Whether you give it a chance or not is entirely your choice!

Continue reading »

Oct 092018


(Andy Synn reviews the debut album by the Greek death metal band Carthage, which was released on October 5th by Amputated Vein Records.)

I don’t know about you guys, but I am absolutely swamped at the moment, with various issues in both my personal and professional life constantly competing for my valuable time, which is leaving me with surprisingly few opportunities to put digital pen to electric paper and get some damn writing done!

Ok… breathe… phew… anyway…

Despite all of this, however, I’m going to endeavour to get as many pieces published this week as I can – including a mix of big names and new contenders – starting with the debut album from Greek Death Metal duo Carthage. Continue reading »

Jul 292012

I have friends (and a wife) who do not understand my near-obsessive fascination with metal. I can’t explain it to them, but not because I have no explanation. It’s because the words would make no sense to someone who hasn’t personally exposed themselves to the magnificent diversity of the music. And even then, of course, the explanation would fail unless the listener really appreciated what they’re hearing.

And diversity is a real key to why I can barely leave the music alone long enough to keep a job and avoid losing all the friends I’ve got. There’s just never a dull moment. Something new is always right around the corner, and for someone like me who’s really not wedded exclusively to any micro-genre, it’s impossible to get stuck in a rut because there’s so much variety. The offerings in this post are an example of what I’m trying to say.

It’s a scrambled assortment of songs from forthcoming albums, but just a very small taste of how dynamically different metal is. The bands are Carthage (U.S.), Munruthel (Ukraine), and Trollfest (Norway).


For friends of NCS, Carthage won’t be a new name. We reviewed their first EP last October (here), and then in February we featured the initial song to emerge from their debut album (here). The album still seems to be a work in progress, but at least we now have a second track to consume — “Years and Darkness”. I’ve been listening to the song off and on since it premiered earlier this month, meaning to write about it, and finally decided I ought to get off my lazy ass and get that done. Continue reading »

Feb 212012

Songwriter and guitarist Tre Watson is a talented dude. He also can’t sit still for very long — a quality I’ve noticed in most talented people, except for those (like me) whose principal talents are sleeping and waiting for someone else to entertain them.

One of Tre’s many musical projects — the one that seems to be the vehicle for putting some death and hardcore in his metal — is a Baltimore-based band called Carthage, which also includes vocalist Eric Hendricks, guitarist Ian Starks, guitarist Noyan Tokgozoglu, bassist Robby Gossweiler, and drummer/vocalist Billy Berger.

Last fall, TheMadIsraeli reviewed the 2011 debut EP from Carthage here, but the band is already at work on a new album called Salt the Earth, which will be available for pre-order soon. At midnight last night, the band put up a new song from the album called “Blackout”. It’s a real genre-bender. There’s a foundation of bruising, pulsing, funky riffage and a hardcore vibe generated by swarming, pissed-off vocals, but the song also includes a Midi-style intro, swirling guitar leads, a brief jazzy interlude, and a sweet little solo right before a metric shift near the end.

I guess one might say it’s an interesting hybrid of hardcore, prog, and pneumatic metal. It makes you want to body-slam your neighbor while dropping into a head-nodding groove at the same time. Hot stuff. Check it out after the jump. Continue reading »

Oct 202011

My good friend Tre Watson is a very busy man who’s up to pretty much everything you can imagine in the world of music.  He’s either recording and producing someone else, writing and recording his own music, or playing with his band Carthage.  I’m reviewing not only the debut EP of Carthage, but also Tre’s recent solo EP called Gravestones.

Carthage plays a style of less-is-more and simple-is-best deathcore with “a little of everything” thrown in, as he put it.  This is pretty accurate, as the music has very small doses of thrash, melodeath, traditional hardcore, and death metal thrown into the mix to keep it varied despite the music’s simplistic approach.

Listening to the EP is like getting smashed over the head with boulders repeatedly.  There is undeniable, consistent groove here, combined with moments of melodeath riffing, deathcore and djent syncopated chugs, tremolo riffing, and badass lead-work everywhere.  I really like what’s going on here — it’s worth checking out.  It’s only a tiny bit underdeveloped, but that’s to be expected with even the best of first EP’s.  The potential is bursting at the seams.  You can stream the entire EP at Bandcamp, or right here at NCS after the jump. Continue reading »

Aug 202011

(TheMadeIsraeli has an urgent message for you . . .)

My friend Tre Watson finally got the EP of his band Carthage put out today.  Progressive deathcore that brings in a lot of interesting influences and is worth checking out for sure.  Head over to their bandcamp before midnight tonight; until then, this EP is “pay what you want,” meaning yes, you can get it for free.  Once it hits midnight, it goes back to 5 dollars.  Expect a review of this soon.


Follow Carthage on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Carthageband